Zombie Tycoon 2 seemed to be a promising idea when I saw the first press releases coming from Frima Studios. Having never played the original I decided to go in with an open mind and not take the original into account and just take this title for what it is. Who wouldn’t want to play a real-time strategy game featuring zombie classes and absurd monstrosities? Well, it didn’t take long for me to realize that person was undoubtedly me. The zombies are humorous and seeing them dressed up as boxers, samurais and flower pots certainly gave me a chuckle. The fun unfortunately, ended right there for me. . Zombie Tycoon 2 is told from two perspectives, that of Professor Brainhov and his former assistant Orville Tycoon and players are tasked with playing through both sides of the campaign. Tycoon has overthrown his former boss turning him into a stumbling, weak zombie and the two of them will go to war in order to see who will take control of the remaining world.
As with many console RTS games, playing Zombie Tycoon 2 with a controller proves to be more cumbersome than intuitive. Players are given control of 4 squads which always consists of 2 zombie troops, a monster and either Tycoon or Prof. Brainhov. Each of these squads is mapped to one of the face buttons of the respective controller and can be moved by selecting the corresponding button. The zombie troops can be transformed into varying classes by taking control of specific buildings. Once upgraded your zombies will become more functional in a limited fashion. Brawlers and Samurais will deal more damage, scouts will become stealthier and engineers will be able to activate switches and cranes in order to unlock more of the map.
Taking over buildings is the only true way to increase your squads numbers in Zombie Tycoon 2. Each house you take will add low-level zombies to your arsenal. While this may seem like fun and a good idea it ends up becoming more of a chore than anything else. The extra zombies are controlled completely by AI and will randomly attack nearby houses and enemies whether you want them to or not. A players only option is to unleash a dead rush which will organize these mindless fiends and send them stampeding towards the target of your choice for a short time.
By far the most interesting of the Zombie Tycoon 2 squads are the monsters. Each side has 2 types of monsters each with their own special abilities which are mapped to the d-pad. While these monsters are the most interesting and powerful of the beasts you will control, they fall short of feeling truly unique in their functionality and control. Each one of them is meant to serve as a heavy class of sorts. The fact that players are able to pair any of the monsters with either of the leaders within the multiplayer mode just goes to show that they aren’t as varied as they probably should be.
The multiplayer itself was not enough to keep me coming back for more. Most matches will last between 5-10 minutes as players race to find the best building to upgrade their troops and then send them after the opposition. Using the gameplay functions you used in the campaign like taking over multiple buildings and expanding the size of your crew only serves to leave you open to be rushed by a team of quickly upgraded zombie classes. While there are a few moments to be had while playing Zombie Tycoon 2, I cannot say that there are enough to warrant purchasing this game. However, if you are a Playstation Plus subscriber you can currently download both the PS3 and PS Vita versions of this game for free, so that’s a… Plus.